On my flight from Maryland to California I was reading “Girl Wash Your Face”, somewhere in the last chapters the book got me thinking and I wanted to jot down some of those thoughts and share them with the universe. At that time, I put these words down on paper…
In 2018 I grew my Photography business exponentially, I took half the year (August-December) and focused on my business. I was also a student but any chance I had to use my college assignments to grow my business, I did.
When the University of Rochester New York contacted me for an image they wanted me to create and capture for a large print project I was so excited, but then… My fears set in. I was afraid I wouldn’t capture what they were looking for, I was afraid I’d mess up the sizing, I was afraid I might fail them.
When I got off the consultation call I felt amazing. The gal I was working with loved my style, my professionalism and the quality of work I showcase. I felt great.
The morning of the session I was feeling fantastic. I felt confident. I did the session, finalized the images and nervously hit “send”. Fear hit again. I was so nervous I failed. You can ask my husband, I sat their worried.
My phone rang. I just stared at it. I told my husband, “I’ll let her leave a voicemail, she probably is upset and that way I can brace for it”. Philip told me to pick up the call. It was the gal from University of Rochester New York… I was SO nervous. She started with, “I called to let you know I love the photos! Thanks for getting those to me so quickly. “.
WHAT?! I was literally afraid to answer because of my irrational fears and here she is just wanting to tell me she loves them. Yeah, I’m crazy.
No matter how well I do, no matter how many people trust me to capture their photos I still get nervous when I face a new aspect of business.
Soon after, Enterprise Rent-a-car contacted me… Basically replay the above story but now with Enterprise.
When I landed in San Jose, California I got to chatting with my cousin, who is a successful businesswoman for a large company and she’s basically the best of the best for them. We were having light conversation and branched into being a woman in today’s society. Melita asked me if I was familiar with Impostor Syndrome. I wasn’t. We chatted about the voices in our heads that constantly tell us we aren’t good enough.
As the above words were something I had already been putting thought into I started a discussion in a Facebook group I lead about Impostor Syndrome. Funny enough, it’s not a new idea – it’s out there and a lot of women deal with it.
As I sat down to write this blog post a newsletter from some business/photographer I follow popped into my inbox, I opened it to put it in the trash (yeah, I’m really bad when it comes to actually reading the mass communicated newsletters I sign-up for) and the second sentence was “Impostor Syndrome.” I didn’t read the whole thing, but I did find it funny that in the course of a week when I started exploring these thoughts and labeling them I get a recurring theme of “Impostor Syndrome”.
We all face it (or most of us do), so the question is how do we overcome it?
I try to surround myself with people who lift me up and remind me of my value and worth. My husband is the best example of this, I mentioned above he encouraged me to answer my phone when the client was calling. He reassured me, encouraged me and supported me by pushing me to pick up the ringing phone. That’s a small piece of how much he impacts my everyday business journey.
I also reminisce about how far I’ve come, reminding myself that 10 years ago, 7 years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago, and even last year I have made huge improvements to my business, my client communications, my style, my quality and so much more. I am a work in progress and I am continually improving my business.
I hope that you can work towards overcoming the voices in your head that are less than encouraging, that you can see the value in your work and you can continue to share it with others! You have a light, let it shine!